The Special Olympics got a big boost from Franklin County law enforcement Friday, April 5, when several of their ranks took part in the annual torch run. Law enforcement officers from more than 300 Florida agencies all participate in the state-wide run, as more than 5,000 officers carry the torch on a 1500-mile relay through 66 counties.

Taking part this year, on the run from the historic Chapman Schools building to Battery Park, were, from the sheriff's office, Sgt. Wayne Nash and Deputies Chase Richards and Casey Harrell. From the Franklin Correctional Institutionís RRT (Rapid Response Team) were Capt. Corry Fletcher, Sergeants Brandy Austin, James Trest, Erik Crosby, Carl Bankston and Kenneth Malphurs, and Officers Wade Blevins, Shawn Kimbrel, Erik Howard, Willie McNair, Nashon Bankston and Justin Mathes. Also running were FCIís K-9 Team members Sgt. William Daniels (holding torch in photo at right) and Officers Shawn Chisholm and John Harris, as well as FCIís Edward Watson, assistant warden of operations.

Funds are generated through contributions from individuals and businesses along the way and through sales of the popular Torch Run T-shirts and caps. This event is held each year prior to Special Olympics Florida State Summer Games. Nash took part in the capital leg of the torch run in Tallahassee April 11, And will run in the final leg of the torch run in Orlando May 17, when officers from around the state join together to bring the Flame of Hope into the stadium